Marketing partners as key to a successful business after the lockdownTipps & Tricks Frank Scheibe
Now that we’ve talked about what you can do for your business during the lockdown, how you can generate revenue now, how to deal with cancellations and how to get your voucher business up and running, it’s time for a change of perspective! We don’t just explain why it’s always a good idea to work with marketing partners. We’ll also show you why now is a good time to look into expanding your reach. And, of course, we’ll explain how you can do it, what’s important and how a channel manager can help you as part of an online booking solution.
In short, we take our “sell now, experience later” recommendation to the next level:
“Market now, profit in the future”
The advantages of leveraging marketing partners during and after the lockdown
Significant jump in reach
Large platforms offer access to millions of potential end customers: The “Big Three” (tripadvisor, GetYourGuide, Expedia) alone reach over 25 million potential customers.
Diverse user groups through visibility
Successful platforms are very easy to find in Google search queries and increase your visibility, especially for new target groups.
Addressing customers from different perspectives
End customers not only switch back and forth between different channels in their search for information, but often also book spontaneously at their destination – online via portals or marketplaces. And of course they always expect the widest possible choice and flexibility in their travel and leisure planning.
Multiplier through regional networking
City and tourism portals are very well networked in the respective regions. Many agencies and tour operators make use of the activities offered there. With a presence you can easily multiply your reach.
Integration of international markets
Online platforms and marketplaces help you to reach international target groups.
Marketing factor “ratings”
The majority of portals and platforms use some kind of rating scheme, which can be used as a sales argument on all your distribution channels.
Why is now the right time to expand your marketing network?
Use the currently available lockdown time for preparations
Whether you are already using an online booking system with a channel manager or are still looking for a suitable solution, now is the time to address these important questions: Which tools will simplify my business in the future? How do I reduce my daily workload? How do I increase my reach most efficiently? For users of bookingkit, the questions about which other marketing partners make sense and should be activated belong at the top of the to-do list.
Because until now, it has been necessary to reduce your current costs to a minimum and pull out all the stops to cover the remaining costs through income – especially through voucher sales. Now you need to switch to Preparation Mode and prepare your business for the time after the lockdown.
No or low direct costs
It is important to know that almost all marketing partnerships are based on a commission model. This means that only in the case of success, i.e. a booking via the partner, are there any real costs. The commissions vary between the individual marketing platforms, but because you always generate revenue first, from which you have to give something away, expanding your marketing network in this way is simple and risk-free – unlike with online/offline advertising, for example, where you almost always have to put money up front.
If you would like to use the channel manager of bookingkit but are afraid of the monthly costs of a bookingkit tariff, then we recommend our current, time-limited “Start Now, Pay Later” programme. just book a free demo and find out more.
Market your activities through the platforms themselves
Through your presence on as many platforms as possible you save a lot of money for your own marketing activities. Of course, large platforms, but also smaller partners that focus on a specific segment have much better opportunities and more resources to attract attention. This becomes particularly clear during various holidays or seasonal events when TV commercials are also shown – impossible for a single tour & activity provider to cope with!
Currently onboarding support is at an all-time high
Of course, the marketing platforms themselves are also trying to get a handle on the current situation and prepare for the restart after the lockdown. Here, the focus is particularly on ensuring quality, i.e. reliable availability and professionally organised experiences, as well as the expansion of their own offerings. For this reason, many of our partner platforms have significantly expanded and strengthened their efforts and support services for bringing new providers on board. Some even use the current situation to open up new markets. We can highlight Klook, Ctrip/Trip.com, Civitatis and Headout, our fire-new partnerships with large players, who were so far rather regionally active e.g. in Asia as well as the USA and want to set themselves up now internationally.
What is to be done?
The basic prerequisite for a targeted expansion of your digital distribution network is – how could it be otherwise – an online booking system with integrated channel manager. Once you have decided on one, you should proceed in the following four steps:
- Self-assessment: Ask yourself in which category your offer falls and for which target groups it is suitable.
- Inform about partners: Get an overview of the possibilities, taking into account not only the conditions of the individual sales networks, but also the effort involved in setting them up and their future potential.
- Technical implementation: If you use bookingkit, you can activate all desired partners in your account simply by clicking on them. It is also possible to automatically activate all partners of the bookingkit network that fall under a certain commission rate – for maximum reach.
- Allocation: Afterwards you should distribute your available seats with allotments to the different platforms. In the bookingkit Dashboard you can keep an eye on the distribution and can adjust it if necessary, e.g. if one platform sells particularly well while others do not use their allotment.
Outlook: Be ready to go after the lockdown
To steer us safely through these tough times, we believe it is helpful to use a phase model. Our model is based on the experience of past crises, publicly available information and a large number of video conferences with various industry experts. We assume that after an initial phase of lockdown, which we are currently in, there will be a normalization phase.
During this phase, demand for tours, activities and attractions (TAA) will slowly increase, supported by government aid, among other things. End customers will change their behaviour and book online even more than before. In addition, we expect demand for TAA to even exceed the available supply due to capacity constraints, group size reductions and delays in operations.
The third phase, the recovery phase, will be exciting. When the market restarts, supply will exceed demand – and you should be prepared for this by having as broad a presence as possible, thus giving you a competitive advantage.
For a detailed look at the current situation and an outlook on the next phases of the industry have a look at video of our Help Talk Webinar.
Optimize capacity utilization & turnover automatically
You may be wondering how to organize the many presences, profiles and, above all, the availability of your seats across all marketing partners. But don’t worry, you won’t need any additional staff for this. With a good booking system like bookingkit everything happens automatically. Distribute free places from a central location to the places where the demand is highest or fill the last places with targeted actions, expand your offer by additional dates and optimize your profit.
Overview of possible bookingkit marketing platforms
In order to give you a better overview of what is possible with bookingkit and its marketing partners, we have put together a small overview here. You will find it in a similar form with all available partners in the bookingkit backend. There you will also get further information about the commission and you can activate the cooperation with just one click! Additionally you can find all important information about the usage and settings of the single platforms in our knowledge database.
|Reserve with Google||Bookings directly via Google search||International|
|GetYourGuide||Leading online platform for tours, sights & activities|
For offers worldwide
|viator / TripAdvisor||As part of Tripadvisor the largest worldwide booking portal for leisure activities||International|
|Expedia Local Expert||Large travel portal with own experience segment for tours, attractions & activities||International|
|Tiqets||Platform for cultural offers||International|
|Klook||Largest marketplace for tours and activities with a strong focus on Asia for offers worldwide||International|
|Ctrip / Trip.com||Asia’s largest online travel portal for experiences worldwide||International|
|Musement||Large online platform for tours, sights & activities for offers worldwide||International|
|Urlaubsguru||Large German-language travel portal with own tours & activities section||Germany, Austria, Switzerland|
|Adrenaline Hunter||Adrenaline Hunter is the world’s leading booking platform for outdoor adventure activities.||International|
|rent-a-guide||Large online platform for guided tours, round trips & experiences||International|
|TourDesk||Distribution solution for hotels to sell tourist offers||Europe|
|mydays||Largest German-speaking marketing channel for experience gifts|
For offers in Germany, Austria & Switzerland
|Germany, Austria, Switzerland|
|Jollydays||Austrian online platform for experience gifts||Germany, Austria, Switzerland|
|Geschenke.de||German-language gift platform with new segment for experience gifts||Germany, Austria, Switzerland|
|erlebnisgeschenke.de||Largest German comparison portal for adventure gifts||Germany, Austria, Switzerland|
|outdooractive||Europe’s largest platform for outdoor activities||Europe|
|MICEBooking||Portal for business tourists (MICE)||Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland|
|SportRIZER||French portal for sports activities||France|
|HRS Destination Solutions||Leading marketer of accommodation||International|
|World++||Large B2B platform with various travel portals||Asia|
|Berlin.de||Portal for the tourist and cultural offer in Berlin & surroundings||Berlin, Germany|
|Stuttgart Tourismus||Portal for the tourist and cultural offer in Stuttgart||Stuttgart, Germany|
|leipzig.travel||Portal for the tourist and cultural offer in Leipzig||Leipzig, Germany|
|KOCHSCHULE.de||German marketer of cooking schools and cooking courses||Germany|
|EscapeRoomGames.de||Online community for Escape Room Games in the German-speaking world||Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland|
|Escape List||The platform for Escape Rooms in Europe.||Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland|
|Let’s go guides||Experience portal for offers in Italian Apulia||Italy|